One of the city’s most promising projects is located in the east of Oslo. Anders Moen Berget is site manager of the Økern Portal and holds the main responsibility for ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
“We’re a sustainable community between business operators and the local community,” Anders Moen Berget explains.
With 55,000 square metres of commercial premises, the district has gained exciting new space, filled with people, food, environment and technology.
“Our venues include hotels, eateries, meeting centres, offices and much more. At 4Service we’re responsible for operating all the restaurants and cafés, handling cleaning services, renting out Tribe meeting room centre and Tribe project offices, and serving as service provider for the entire complex. In other words, there’s more than enough to do,” he smiles.
A normal working day for Anders Moen Berget is hectic and packed with activity. He is close to operations but is also responsible for contracts and follow-up on tenants.
“I really enjoy this role. Before joining 4Service, I worked for a company that was very focused on rules and guidelines. It’s different here, where the spotlight is on freedom and responsibility. We have the authority to propose new ideas and implement them at all levels. This culture comes from the top of the company and makes us a tight-knit and enterprising team.”
The team Anders Moen Berget is referring to comprises more than 70 people, all employed in a year marked by the pandemic.
“2021 was a demanding year at many levels, and we worked extensively on crisis management. For example, Telia was originally supposed to move in during January, but they did not start this until 23 August. It goes without saying that this presented some financial and human challenges,” says Anders Moen Berget.
Fortunately, Telia and others all settled in, and now Økern Portal is really buzzing with activity.
“Since August, we’ve served over 65,000 lunches. The secret is variety, and that we have our own bakery and patisserie here on the premises. I’m proud that we make everything from scratch and can deliver food that is produced locally.”
Økern Portal has northern Europe’s largest edible rooftop garden, which among other things grows vegetables for the building’s six restaurants. A composting machine ensures that food waste can be used to fertilise the rooftop garden. Below the complex there is a lake that provides for heating to be generated, and internal air pressure and temperature are measured by sensors in the rooms’ lighting fixtures.
“The rooftop garden has a separate running track, and we offer activities such as quizzes and wine tastings for the 3,000 people working here, as well as all the local residents,” Anders Moen Berget explains.
During the next few years, more than 5,000 new homes will be developed at Økern. As part of Hovinbyen, Oslo’s largest urban development area, a new quarter of the city is being developed.
“The grand opening on 21 October really marked the start of the project. More than 4,000 people came by, we served tasting dishes from our restaurants and Hkeem gave a concert. The guests were tenants and interested members of the public from all over Oslo.”
The future is full of exciting news for Økern Portal. In April 2022, 4Service will open a large outdoor dining area, and on 1 July, Radisson Red will be in place with around 200 hotel rooms.
“Radisson Red guests can naturally use many of our facilities, including our brand-new burger bar that will open during the year. We’ll also soon be launching a new website, undertaketoslo.no, that brings all the cafés and restaurants together under one roof, giving guests a clearer overview of our many exciting options.”
The Økern concept is perfect for today’s employees, but just as much for the local community, of which the building complex is an important part.
“Økern Portal is unique in Norway. There’s nothing quite like it. I’ve had daily tours for property developers and the hospitality industry from far and wide, who come to learn and get new inspiration. This is really motivating for all of us who work here,” says a committed Anders Moen Berget.
Kati Haakala comes from the small town of Ekenäs in Finland. She has travelled the world and moved to Norway almost 19 years ago.
“My background is in the restaurant and hotel industry. I joined 4Service and De Tre Stuer in 2018, and then continued as site manager for Diagonale in 2019,” says Kati Haakala.
Just as for Anders Berget at Økern Portal, Kati Haakala’s working days are hectic and varied.
“I’m responsible for two buildings here in central Oslo: Youngstorget 3 and Diagonale. One of the first things I do every morning is make sure the reception areas and the other departments have everything they need. Reception is the heart of the building for every tenant. This is where you get a sense of virtually everything going on in the complex. But what’s said and happens in reception always stays in reception,” Kati Haakala laughs.
“Our tenants must have a unique experience while also feeling quite at home. The quality of our service and food is one of our key metrics. They must be outstanding, whether guests visit us for lunch, dinner, an evening snack or in connection with an event, or come by the reception,” she explains.
4Service has considerable responsibilities at Diagonale. Besides Kati Haakala’s duties as site manager, she and her colleagues provide cleaning and reception staff, as well as operating the building’s staff restaurant and commercial restaurants.
“Communication, flexibility and sound cooperation between property owner and tenants are important to us. We’re a great team, and the key to good service and satisfied guests is dedicated staff, precise communication and a pleasant atmosphere.”
During the pandemic, Diagonale never shut down completely, but reduced its workforce from sixty to no more than three people.
“We’ve learned so much during the last two years. Among other things, we’ve become even better at adjusting very quickly, without compromising on quality. Personally, I also think it’s been extra rewarding to see how much we’ve supported each other. A fine working environment and good colleagues should never be taken for granted. We’re more than just a workplace. We’re a team that stick together through thick and thin,” the site manager says.
Last year offered exciting new opportunities for Diagonale’s guests. The commercial restaurant Salome was revamped in 2020 and really tested its potential in the second half of 2021.
“The change of concept for Salome worked really well. I’m proud of the work that’s been done, headed by Augustin Zonjic as department manager of the two commercial restaurants, together with kitchen manager Nelson Fernandes with his team,” she says.
A new concept has been launched for the staff restaurant at Diagonale. During the day, it functions as the tenants’ staff restaurant, while in the evening it becomes a commercial restaurant, called Spaghetteria. Both commercial restaurants are Italian concepts, where Salome is Venetian and Spaghetteria is more family-oriented.
“The family aspect doesn’t just describe the concept. The kitchen manager and headwaiter, Katya and Marika Blandino, are sisters, and their nonna often comes by to help out,” Kati Haakala explains.
Nonna means grandmother in Italian, and together with their great team, the three women make sure Spaghetteria is authentic and exciting.
"This change of concept has also worked very well. Before, we used the premises for various events and functions, but in collaboration with Andreas Viestad and Dag Tjersland, with whom we also worked on developing Salome, we designed the new concept for the staff restaurant. So far, Spaghetteria has been a great success,” Kati Haakala explains.
Even during the pandemic, Bjørvika has grown a lot. The combination of cultural institutions such as the new Munch Museum, the Deichman Library and the Opera House, many offices, varied catering options, Opera Beach and Sørenga, makes this one of Oslo’s most bustling and exciting areas.
“With Salome and Spaghetteria, we command a good position down here by the sea. Combined with modern office space with a great roof terrace, where you can enjoy your lunch and coffee, or the evening sun, we have an overall concept that is perfect for this area. We can also see many new opportunities as we look forward to the years to come,” Kati Haakala concludes.